Variations on exercise technique and reps shock the human musculature system. That's why we should switch routines, reps, and lifting order regularly. The 21s method for biceps shocked my system to a life-changing extreme, but the gains leveled off. Like any responsible bodybuilder, I made a slight change to a proven regimen to create variation and increase my gains.

You know the 21s drill - grab an EZ-Curl bar, perform 7 reps going halfway up, 7 more halfway down, and then finish it with 7 full reps.



Well, I have something even better for you to tackle.

Like everyone else in lifting history, I took part in this great shock method, but I also started applying it to other muscle groups beyond my biceps. At a certain point, my body got used to this method and this technique. Then it no longer had the same impact. From that stagnation, my "28 method" was born; it takes 21s to an entirely different level.

If you're like me and find something missing when you do 21s, the "28 method" is certainly a step up. It might be precisely what you're looking for.

So, what exactly is the "28 method?"

Well, it's not complicated, but it just goes a step farther than doing 21s. To start, you do 7 regular full reps with whatever weight you're using and whatever exercises you're performing.

The next step, though, is the most intense. With your muscles already fatigued, do 7 slow reps. Slow in this case applies to both the eccentric and concentric part of the movement.

In your head, do a 5-count down and then another 5-count up, slowly lowering the weight and then slowly moving the weight back up. Believe me, this is the part that burns like crazy. From here, finish out the work with 7 reps going halfway down with the movement, and another 7 reps going halfway up—much like 21s.

So, it goes like this: 7 full reps, 7 slow reps, 7 reps at the top half of the movement, and then 7 final reps at the bottom half of the movement, giving you 28 shirt-splitting reps.



Try three sets for each exercise and pick three exercises for a particular muscle group. Get ready for your muscles to scream in pain.

With just two minutes of rest between sets and the intense workload of the "28 method," you will obviously use significantly less weight for the movement.

But don't worry, this method works.

Almost immediately, you will see an increase in muscle fullness. Your pump will be out of this world. It might not be the backbone of your training program, but you won't find a much better change of pace than the "28 method." Use it now and again for a couple of weeks at a time, and results will follow.

Your tighter-fitting shirts will be proof of that.

Sample Workout

A workout using the "28 method" for your chest and triceps would look like this, but you can apply this method any muscle group

Chest/Triceps
1
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
3 sets, 28 reps (7 regular reps, 7 slow reps, 7 reps going halfway down from lockout, 7 reps going halfway up from chest)
2
Incline Dumbbell Press
3 sets, 28 reps ( 7 regular reps, 7 slow reps, 7 reps going halfway down from lockout, 7 reps going halfway up from chest)
3
Butterfly
3 sets, 28 reps ( 7 regular reps, 7 slow reps, 7 reps going halfway down from lockout, 7 reps going halfway up from chest)
4
Lying Triceps Press
3 sets, 28 reps ( 7 regular reps, 7 slow reps, 7 reps going halfway down from lockout, 7 reps going halfway up from chest)
5
Dips - Triceps Version
3 sets, 28 reps ( 7 regular reps, 7 slow reps, 7 reps going halfway down from lockout, 7 reps going halfway up from chest)

About the Author

Cory Gregory

Cory Gregory

Cory Gregory co-founded MusclePharm. As Executive Vice President of Business Development, Gregory works closely with all of the world-class athletes.

View all articles by this author